House panel to take up bill to remove straight-ticket voting

LANSING, Mich. (AP) – A bill that would prevent Michigan voters from voting a straight-party ticket with a single mark on their ballot is up for consideration in the Legislature.

The House Elections Committee will hold a hearing on the legislation on Thursday, weeks after it won approval from the Republican-controlled Senate.

Republican Chairwoman Lisa Posthumus Lyons supports the bill and is signaling an interest in linking it to her legislation to allow people to cast an absentee ballot without needing a reason. She wants to complete election-related bills this month before the 2016 election year.

Supporters of Michigan’s straight-party voting option say it is popular and removing it would lengthen voting lines. Critics say straight-ticket voting is a relic that encourages voters to pick officeholders solely on party affiliation, not their qualifications.

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